Women’s interest in esports continues to grow, as a new study shows.
According to market researcher Interpret, women’s viewership of esports grew from 23.9 percent of all viewers in 2016 to over 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Tia Christianson, Vice president of research in Europe, called this 6.5 gain in gender share a “trend in the right direction.”
If the female audience gains another six percent share in two years, Christianson explained, esports viewership will be in gender parity with what Interpret considers the standard among traditional console and PC games.
The 30.4 percent female viewership data number refers to viewers who have “at least watched an esports event or tournament,” according to Interpret. This includes viewing a single game, while only 20 percent of women said they keep track of esports leagues and consistently watch matches.
Currently, women make up only 35 percent of those who consider themselves competitive gamers. Women make up under 30 percent of gamers in major esports titles including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Overwatch.
“As an industry, more progress will be made as females’ role in traditional esports titles continue to grow. More likely than not, a lot of that growth may come in non-traditional esports genres,” said Christianson.
This assumption is backed up by the fact that women make up the majority of casual gamers at 66 percent. This genre is made up of games usually played on mobile phones or tablets. When it comes to games like Fortnite, Pokemon GO, and Candy Crush, enough women play to meet or exceed the study’s gender parity.
According to mobile competitive gaming platform Skillz, seven out of the top 10 mobile earners on their platform last year were female. The key to getting women more involved in esports, according Christianson, is having more competitive tournaments and events revolving around mobile games.